Hydro received two prime ministers

HydroGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hydro CEO Svein Richard Brandtzaeg and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, from left, hold a light car's door made of aluminium during the opening of a new automotive line of Norwegian aluminium producer Hydro in Grevenbroich, Germany, {wdat]. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Hydro opened automotive facility

Erna Solberg and Angela Merkel were both in place when Hydro opened its new automotive production facility in Grevenbroich, Germany.


Hydro has invested NOK 1 billion in the plant, which will produce 150,000 ton of aluminum parts every year.

The cars should go to customers like Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

“This is the most modern European automotive factory that wants to produce lighter cars with less CO2 emissions,” said Hydro’s CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg to NTB.

He is delighted to lure Prime Minister Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Erna Solberg to the opening.

Merkel called the project an example of good, practical and modern cooperation between Norway and Germany.

In her speech, she also demonstrated the good cooperation between Norway and Germany in international organizations, such as NATO, and at the practical level, as in the fight against the ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Collaborative project

Brandtzæg calls the plant a European cooperation project that extends from the fjords in Norway to industrial cities in Germany.

“The automotive industry in both Europe and the rest of the world is increasingly turning from steel to aluminum. That process is in full swing, “said the CEO.

“With aluminum you get significantly easier cars. This allows them to be made with a smaller engine.

In addition, you get better driving skills because there is less mass that vibrates and moves. And if you are unlucky and colliding, you have much better chances of survival in a car made of aluminum.

Aluminum absorbs the energy of the air twice as well as steel, “he says.

At the same time, good framework conditions in both Germany and Norway have played an important role, according to Brandtzæg. He draws both CO2 compensation and Enova’s support as positive factors.

At NTB, Solberg said she thought it was a little weak that Brandtzæg was limited to saying that the food chain extends from the fjords to industrial cities in Germany.

“I think it’s a bit bad when he started with the fjord. I think he should have started with our waterfalls, “she said.

Bilateral meeting

For Solberg, the opening ceremony was the start of an intense meeting program.

Afterwards, there was time for a separate bilateral meeting between her and Merkel where trade and industry cooperation were expected to become important themes.

“Germany is one of our foremost trading partners, and we have a common interest in creating more jobs and stimulating more industry and business,” says Solberg.

The two should also discuss climate policy, security policy, defense cooperation and the forthcoming G20 summit in Hamburg in July.

Norway is a guest country in the G20 this year, and Solberg will therefore be attending the summit.

Later on Thursday Solberg travels to Brussels, where she meets EU President Donald Tusk, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“It will be a day with many different themes, all of which are of great importance to Norway,” says Solberg.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today